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AG Derek Schmidt statement on reports of sexual abuse of children by clergy members

Release Date: Aug 21, 2018

TOPEKA – (August 21, 2018) - Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt today issued the following statement related to renewed public discussion about allegations of sexual abuse of children by persons in positions of authority, including members of the clergy:

“I admire and encourage those victims of childhood sexual abuse who continue to choose to come forward, sometimes after many years have passed. The physical or sexual abuse of a child is a serious crime in Kansas. Kansas law places on local authorities the principal responsibility and authority for investigating and prosecuting these crimes, and the Office of Attorney General by law houses the statewide Victims Rights Coordinator. Any victim of child sexual abuse by a person in authority, including a member of the clergy, regardless of how long ago the abuse occurred, is encouraged to contact our statewide Victim Assistance Hotline at (800) 828-9745 Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. to discuss what help may be available.

“Any victim also may report abuse to any local law enforcement agency. Within the limits of the law, state and local law enforcement agencies in Kansas are committed to enforcing the criminal laws against physical and sexual abuse of children -- and our office can assist local authorities upon their request and as resources allow -- regardless of when a crime may have occurred or who may have committed it.”

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